Another category of small scale backyard farmers will from next week become eligible for support from The Dominica Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods Program.
Ten million dollars from the World Bank Funded- Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods Climate Resilience Project is being put to work in a Contingency Emergency Response Component specially designed to lend immediate support to farmers during the ongoing Covid19 pandemic.
Programme Manager, Kervin Stephenson says vulnerable groups with gardening space between 3,000 square feet and 10,890 square feet will be able to access a package of inputs valued at $500. The package includes fertilizers, inputs and small tools and seeds.
The Agriculture Ministry’s Backyard Gardening Programme has taken off since its launch in April.
At least 800 homes have received seedlings packages that will ensure their food security- that means adequate access to sufficient and nutritious food.
The Backyard Gardening Programme however caters for spaces less than a quarter acre.
Meantime the larger project, the Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods Program, funded by the World Bank and meant to contribute to restoring agricultural livelihoods and enhancing climate resilience of farmers and fisher folk affected by Hurricane Maria in Dominica, targets farmers with larger holdings.
Stephenson explained that the applicants must be physically capable of farming and “They would have to have a willingness to share. We have a lot of people in the society that are vulnerable even organizations and individuals, so, in the form they would indicate which organization or which village council they would be willing to work with to give their excess.
“…They can sell if they want; we have no restrictions on they selling. All we would want them to do in the cases of excess is to share with the vulnerable and those who are not able and capable.
He said further, “Every farmer would choose their seeds to avoid people wasting the seeds. We have restricted the seedlings variety to five, so that no one should be able to get no more than five types of seeds.”
Eighteen varieties of seeds are available to choose from.
A cash transfer aspect will see small farmers with under two acres get $700, farmers with 2-5 acres can receive $1400 and farmers with 5 acres or more who do not qualify for other support programmes can get $2800.
The application forms were available from June 1st.